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The Kingdom Of Bones by Stephen Gallagher (Ebury Press, £6.99)
TOM Sayers, an ex-boxer and theatre manager is a man on the run suspected of murder. He is separated from the woman he adores, Louise Porter, and, realising that the murderer must be in the theatre troupe, decides to put her safety first whatever the risk to himself.
His search for Louise takes him to America and when she keeps eluding him he must enlist the help of Sebastian Becker, a Pinkerton man, and with his past this is not an easy or ideal turn of events.
As they pursue Louise they realise that something much darker is following her and Tom comes to understand that he alone can save her, but at what cost?
This is an enthralling book which combines the detective story with the gothic thriller and historical novel, though most of all it is a tale about obsessive love.
It covers late Victorian and Edwardian England and America and a legend that has been handed down throughout the centuries so is wide in its scope.
However, the characters remain reasonably life-like and while Tom’s obsession with Louise grates somewhat, we sympathise with him and need to discover how he resolves his difficulties and fears.
The descriptions give authenticity to the historical background and give an air of menace to the story which I enjoyed.